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NINJA ASSASSIN

SHO KOSUGI (Lord Ozunu) is a legendary martial arts performer who made his mark in the 1980s and 1990s with a string of successful ninja films. The son of a Tokyo fisherman, the actor began his martial arts training at the age of five. Kosugi originally had a very weak body, but his parents forced their crying son to take karate at a local dojo, in order to make him stronger. He expanded his martial arts studies, learning judo, kendo, aikido, iaidō, ninjutsu and taekwondo. By the age of 18, he had achieved the status of All-Japan Karate Champion.

The following year, Kosugi left Japan for Los Angeles, where he earned a bachelors degree in economics at California State University. He continued competing in martial arts, winning an astonishing 663 trophies at karate tournaments around the United States, Canada, and Mexico between 1970 and 1975, as well as the Los Angeles Open in 1972, 1973 and 1974. Kosugi made his first foray into cinema with a minor part in a Taiwanese film, "Six Killers,” followed by a role in a Korean production, "The Stranger from Korea” (a.k.a. "Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave”).

For eight years, Kosugi worked continually as an extra in movies, sleeping only four or five hours a day and working five part-time jobs to support his family. His big break finally came in 1981 when he was cast as the evil ninja Hasegawa in "Enter the Ninja.” The success of the film led to a series of other ninja movies, including "Revenge of the Ninja” and "Ninja III: The Domination,” which firmly established Kosugi as a martial arts superstar with a loyal cult following.

After a brief turn in a television action series called "The Master” in 1984, Kosugi continued starring in numerous martial arts films, including "Pray for Death” and "Nine Deaths of the Ninja,” and as a ninja secret agent in "Black Eagles,” opposite Jean- Claude Van Damme

In 1990, Kosugi returned to Japan, where he became involved in numerous martial arts television productions, and in 1992 he starred opposite Toshiro Mifune and Christopher Lee in a samurai epic for the big screen, "Journey of Honor.” Considering it his greatest artistic triumph, Kosugi also co-wrote and produced the film, directed by Gordon Hessler and featuring a score performed by The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra.

Kosugi remained very active in Japanese television productions, and was also involved in contributing martial arts choreography for the highly popular Sony PlayStation game "Tenchu: Stealth Assassins.” Kosugi created the Sho Kosugi Institute in Hollywood to assist Asian actors wishing to break into the American film industry. He built a branch of the Sho Kosugi Institute in Tokyo as well, to teach manners, discipline and English to children ages three and up. Kosugi also set up a production company in Hollywood and Tokyo called Sho Kosugi Production Inc., with the goal of raising funds for future projects and to act as agent and distributor for his films.

It was during this time of expansion that Kosugi also became an author in Japan, releasing his first of what would—thus far—total nine books: Sho Kosugi: The Man Who Achieved the American Dream.

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